How Wrong They Were!

How Wrong They Were!

by JBS President Emeritus John F. McManus

Donald Trump beat the odds. He beat the Establishment. He beat the culture changers who would have Americans discard their faith and their heritage. And he beat the planners who intend to create a one-world government run by them. Assuming, of course, that he truly is anti-Establishment.

Donald Trump speaking at CPAC in Washington D.C. on February 10, 2011 (photo by Gage Skidmore [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons).

It was delightful to see and hear the media’s cocksure Clinton backers scratching their heads and wondering what happened. These are the people who ignored Hillary Clinton’s description of Trump supporters as “deplorables,” who failed to note her call at the UN’s LGBT conclave to force religions to change, who never mentioned her clearly stated preference for “open borders” throughout the entire Western hemisphere, and who labeled practicing Catholics purveyors of “backwardness.”

The media stars – television, newspapers, magazines, joined at the hip by multitudes of educators – repeatedly permitted Donald Trump’s enemies to portray him as a hater when Clinton’s carefully chosen rhetoric showed how much of a hater she truly is. Amongst them can be found an array of political elitists, professed liberals, proud one-worlders, professional politicians, and their closely allied pundits, pollsters, prognosticators, and powerbrokers. Almost without exception, these were cheerleaders for Clinton. But they backed the loser.

In the recent election, a plurality of Americans relied on their suspicions about their country being steered down a wrong road. So, they resisted further movement toward the cliff looming ahead. They want government to obey the nation’s laws. They want immigration curtailed and illegal border crossing terminated. They want the flow of American jobs overseas stopped. They want to stop the questionable climate change agenda, sovereignty destroying trade pacts, entangling alliances, and endless wars.

The Trump victory will likely lead many Americans to revisit numerous other attitudes. We suggest that the same cabal that has misled so many about national and international policies has long used its influence to discount – even smear – The John Birch Society and the many stands it has carefully taken. If he wanted to, Donald Trump could discover that millions of Americans have read a JBS pamphlet or book, heard a Society speaker in person or via the airwaves, even come into contact with a member whose attitudes about the issues made surprisingly good sense.

A good question for Americans to ask themselves is simply: If these so-called experts were so wrong about Trump, what else are they wrong about? The United Nations? Lawmaking by executive order? Roe v. Wade? Violations of the U.S. Constitution? Government takeover of medical care? Danger lurking in a drive to hold a Constitutional Convention? And more.

The 2016 presidential election should be the pivot when America returned to its praiseworthy roots, when knowledgeable patriotism became reinvigorated, and when the making of America truly great again is more than a slogan. A good place to start is to spread the realization that America originally became great not because of what government did, but because of what government was prevented from doing by the Constitution.

We wish the very best for the incoming Trump administration and suggest to fellow Americans that they hold him and Congress accountable.

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McManus_2Mr. McManus served in the U.S. Marine Corps in the late 1950s and joined the staff of The John Birch Society in August 1966. He has served various roles for the organization including Field Coordinator, Director of Public Affairs, and President. Mr. McManus has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs and is also author of a number of educational DVDs and books. Now President Emeritus, he continues his involvement with the Society through public speaking and writing for this blog, the JBS Bulletin, and The New American.


Various Ways to “Rig” an Election

Various Ways to “Rig” an Election
by JBS President Emeritus John F. McManus

Whenever Donald Trump claims that the election is “rigged” in favor of his opponent, many pundits and Democrat loyalists get apoplexy – or worse. Their standard response isn’t denial; it’s ridicule.

Image by unknown author [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.

Trump’s rigging charge is usually aimed at the networks, the newspapers and magazines, and the voting process. But there are other devious ways to sway voters and these deserve mention as well.

It is now known, for instance, that the interim chairwoman (Donna Brazile) of the Democratic National Committee leaked some questions to Hillary Clinton as she prepared for debates. Having the questions beforehand, of course, enables a debater to bone up on the topic and seem extra competent.

Brazile is a longtime ally of Hillary Clinton. She held down a post at CNN until the network (caustically labeled “Clinton News Network” by some) accepted her resignation in mid-October. Releases from WikiLeaks showed that she alerted Clinton staffers about a question regarding capital punishment prior to it being asked of Hillary during one debate. Another release produced by WikiLeaks contained information about advanced warnings regarding the health consequences felt by a Flint, Michigan, family in the wake of the city’s contaminated water problem. Her quick response to that fairly difficult question led some viewers to wonder if she had knowledge of what would be asked beforehand. She did have knowledge of the question before it was asked.

Boston College political science professor Dennis Hale commented: “Trump has stressed over and over again that the press is not just biased, but that parts of it have become adjuncts of the Democratic Party. This [revelations about Brazile] certainly feeds that story.”

There are numerous other ways to shape voter attitudes and rig elections. Project Veritas, the organization run by the doggedly determined James O’Keefe, videotaped conversations he had with veteran Democratic Party activist Scott Foval. A longtime employee of the Democratic Party, Foval bragged about busing people across state lines to voting halls where they could cast votes illegally. He told of carefully arranging for skirmishes at GOP rallies to make the Trump candidacy look bad. O’Keefe was ready to air his revealing tapes when several news outlets refused to use them after they learned of their contents.

Throughout the 2016 election cycle, there has been strident opposition to requiring voters to show a valid ID before being given a ballot. Isn’t showing identification reasonable? Opponents of such a measure must have skulduggery in mind. Further, it’s downright frightening to think about what electronic wizards can do by tinkering with voting machines. Most of the computer-savvy gurus are boastful Clinton supporters.

As for the mainstream media, why do they allow Mrs. Clinton to claim a mere “mistake” when she placed sensitive material on her private server? Or when she destroyed thousands of emails so they couldn’t be read? She broke some laws and calling her actions “mistakes” wouldn’t hold up for others. Why is she not hounded for her horrendously harmful decisions regarding Iraq, Libya, Benghazi, Egypt, and elsewhere? Why is she given a pass when her ineptitude led to the creation of ISIS, the strengthening of Iran, and the need to place thousands of “boots on the ground” in Iraq when that campaign was supposed to be over? Why is there so little mention by the media of the Clinton Foundation’s acceptance of huge payoffs from the Saudis and Qataris who have supported the Islamic State terrorists? Why aren’t the contents of her 2015 speech before the United Nations publicized? She actually insisted that religions have to change their attitudes about abortion, same-sex marriage, and more.

The media attacked Trump for understanding enough about tax law to avoid paying federal taxes. He committed no crime in doing so. They blamed him for disturbances at his rallies when Democrat operatives deliberately caused them. They took as unimpeachable fact various claims by some women that Trump has abused them. But Bill Clinton and his enabling wife haven’t been targeted for their provable outrages.

There are many ways to influence voters and cause an election to be “rigged.” We have pointed out only a few and hope that the rigging doesn’t lead to success on Election Day.

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McManus_2Mr. McManus served in the U.S. Marine Corps in the late 1950s and joined the staff of The John Birch Society in August 1966. He has served various roles for the organization including Field Coordinator, Director of Public Affairs, and President. Mr. McManus has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs and is also author of a number of educational DVDs and books. Now President Emeritus, he continues his involvement with the Society through public speaking and writing for this blog, the JBS Bulletin, and The New American.


The Downside of White Privilege

The Downside of White Privilege
by JBS President Emeritus John F. McManus

In Michael Scheuer’s “Why I’m eager to see the end of my ‘white privilege’ post, he lists why he is sick and tired of being told he was a beneficiary of “white privilege.” So, knowing full well that there are many exceptions to the scenarios he experienced, he listed what the so-called privilege has often meant to him.

“White Privilege” vandalism at the Jefferson Davis monument in Mid-City, (Photo by Bart Everson Flickr, some rights reserved).

Many Americans can identify with what he has stated. But those who do so face being charged with selfishness, racism, xenophobia, and more. The truth is that government-enforced policies have made people far more race-conscious than they might ever have been if government wasn’t forcing its ill-conceived and dangerous policies on everyone.

To the various complaints listed can be added similar favorable treatment accorded to illegal immigrants. And the seething outrage felt by many Americans isn’t waning; it grows and festers. If not addressed properly, destruction of the American dream will continue until the dream turns into a full-fledged nightmare.

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McManus_2Mr. McManus served in the U.S. Marine Corps in the late 1950s and joined the staff of The John Birch Society in August 1966. He has served various roles for the organization including Field Coordinator, Director of Public Affairs, and President. Mr. McManus has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs and is also author of a number of educational DVDs and books. Now President Emeritus, he continues his involvement with the Society through public speaking and writing for this blog, the JBS Bulletin, and The New American.


Missed Opportunities by Trump

Missed Opportunities by Trump 
by JBS President Emeritus John F. McManus

The October 4th vice presidential debate showed that Democrat Tim Kaine ought to be awarded a prize for the most obnoxious performance in recent memory. He interrupted his opponent and the debate moderator 72 times during the 90-minute encounter. His oily smugness and lack of decorum was so bad it may well have turned some viewers away from supporting Hillary Clinton. Even Clinton-favoring headliners in the media scolded Kaine and declared Republican Mike Pence the winner. But that was the debate between the candidates for vice president.

Photo by Krassotkin (derivative), Gage Skidmore (Donald Trump), Gage Skidmore (Hillary Clinton) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons.

As expected during the October 9th Town Hall presidential faceoff, Hillary cited the lewd comments made by Trump in his 2005 appearance on “Access Hollywood.” She then attacked her opponent for having stated that Judge Gonzalo Curiel was unfit to preside over any case involving Trump University because he had Mexican parents. But Curiel has a past association with the radical Mexican-American group LaRaza (“the Race”) that seeks to transfer several southwestern U.S. states to Mexico. That kind of connection should bar him from serving on any bench in the United States. But this point wasn’t made by Trump.

In April 2015, Hillary spoke at UN headquarters to an adoring crowd of gays, transgender advocates, and abortion partisans. In her speech, she left herself wide open for condemnation by insisting, “Deep-seated cultural codes, religious beliefs and structural biases have to be changed.” That’s an attack not only on our nation’s fundamental moral and religious foundations, but also on the bedrock of Western civilization. She could hardly have expressed a more revolutionary urging. But Trump never mentioned it.

During this encounter, Trump focused attention on Hillary’s cavalier and dangerous abuse of email transmissions. She admitted having made a “mistake” as if that should settle the issue, and then relied on FBI Director Comey’s refusal to recommend prosecution. Lost in the discussion is the simple fact that anyone who had been so “reckless” with classified information could never gain employment in any sensitive government position, including the office of President of the United States. Trump ignored that easily understood fact and indicated instead that, if elected, he would arrange for a special prosecutor to deal with what she characterized as a mere “mistake.”

The Trump candidacy has won much of its support because he is perceived as an “outsider,” not another behind-the-scenes elitist ruling our nation. He doesn’t hold membership in the power-laden clique at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), the organization whose long-range goal was neatly summed up by one of its key members as performing “an end run around national sovereignty eroding it piece by piece.”

While serving as Secretary of State in 2013, Hillary spoke at the opening of a new CFR branch office in Washington. After noting her good fortune in having frequently been welcomed at the CFR’s “mother ship” in New York, she revealingly stated:

It’s good to have an outpost of the Council right here down the street from the State Department. We get a lot of advice from the Council, so this will mean I won’t have as far to go to be told what we should be doing and how we should think about the future.

If Donald Trump fails to make an issue of what Hillary Clinton stated at the CFR’s Washington office on July 15, 2013, he will severely disappoint his followers. He will also convince many fed-up Americans that he is no “outsider,” but instead another elitist claiming to be an opponent of the decades-long stranglehold the CFR has had on our nation.

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McManus_2Mr. McManus served in the U.S. Marine Corps in the late 1950s and joined the staff of The John Birch Society in August 1966. He has served various roles for the organization including Field Coordinator, Director of Public Affairs, and President. Mr. McManus has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs and is also author of a number of educational DVDs and books. Now President Emeritus, he continues his involvement with the Society through public speaking and writing for this blog, the JBS Bulletin, and The New American.


The Flimsy Stance of FBI Director Comey

The Flimsy Stance of FBI Director Comey
by JBS President Emeritus John F. McManus

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s use of private servers for transmitting official State Department business came to light in May 2015. Since then, much has been said and written about her “carelessness,” even to the point of claims being raised that her loose handling of sensitive information endangered the lives and well-being of U.S. military personnel and members of the diplomatic corps.

FBI Director James Comey recommended no criminal charges be issued against the Democrat candidate for President, Hillary Clinton (Image from flickr.com).

FBI Director James Comey recommended no criminal charges be issued against the Democrat candidate for President, Hillary Clinton (Photo by Rich Girard Flickr, some rights reserved).

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) spent a year investigating Clinton’s email activity and made several damning conclusions. But on July 5, 2016, FBI Director James Comey recommended that no criminal charges be issued against the Democrat candidate for President. In his remarks announcing the decision reached by his bureau, Comey said Mrs. Clinton was “extremely careless.”

Other comments made by Comey, during that highly anticipated press conference, included his finding that her judgment was questionable; she had contradicted statements previously made about her use of email; the possibility existed that hostile foreign governments had gained access to her transmissions; and had she still been a government employee, she could have faced disciplinary action. His recommendation that no charges be filed also included a similar refusal to issue charges against Clinton’s top aides who had been granted immunity.

Comey then explained his controversial recommendation saying that there needed to be evidence that Mrs. Clinton’s cavalier use of unsecured computers was intentional, or that she had willfully broken State Department rules. A drunk driver who causes injuries to others doesn’t intend the harm that he causes. But his carelessness still earns him prosecution. Former Army General and CIA Director David Petraeus was charged and punished for his misuse of classified material that was far less serious an offense than the former Secretary of State admitted to.

In his July 5, 2016 press conference, the FBI Director agreed that more than 100 emails containing classified markings had been sent via non-secure methods; that Mrs. Clinton had not turned over all of the requested emails; that potentially hostile foreign governments had possibly gained access to her transmissions; and that she had used several private servers at her home in addition to those she used while travelling on official business.

Prior to the FBI Director’s announcement of an unwillingness to recommend charges, Mrs. Clinton faced questioning from a congressional panel examining the Benghazi debacle that cost the lives of four Americans. She survived grueling questioning, but skepticism about her casual use of unsecured computers has remained.

On September 28, 2016, the House Judiciary Committee listened to Director Comey as he continued to defend his decision not to recommend charges against Mrs. Clinton. Committee chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) insisted that his unwillingness to recommend charges “defies [both] logic and the law that she faces no consequences for jeopardizing national security.” Committee members also questioned the grant of immunity to five Clinton aides. Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-Texas) claimed a fix to exonerate Mrs. Clinton was in from the start.

But Comey remained adamant while continuing to defend his recommendation of no charges being made against the Democrat nominee. For his stand, members of the congressional panel called him and his underlings “weasels.” Defending himself and his FBI subordinates, he responded with: “You can call us wrong. You can call me a fool. You cannot call us weasels.” The congressmen before him wondered, “Why not?”

Mrs. Clinton casually admits to having made a “mistake,” something she pledged she would never do again. The drunk driver who injured several innocent people with his recklessness would love to plead that he, too, made a mistake and wouldn’t drive drunk again. He went to prison. Why is that not the case with Hillary Clinton?

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McManus_2Mr. McManus served in the U.S. Marine Corps in the late 1950s and joined the staff of The John Birch Society in August 1966. He has served various roles for the organization including Field Coordinator, Director of Public Affairs, and President. Mr. McManus has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs and is also author of a number of educational DVDs and books. Now President Emeritus, he continues his involvement with the Society through public speaking and writing for this blog, the JBS Bulletin, and The New American.


Do Words Have Consequences?

Do Words Have Consequences?
by JBS President Emeritus John F. McManus

In the closing days of the 2008 race for the Democratic Party nomination, then Senator Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) refused to concede when the primary season had already shown to have lost the race to Barack Obama. Undaunted by the will of the voters, she hung on – at least for a while. Asked on May 23, 2008, why she wouldn’t concede her loss to the upstart young senator from Illinois, she told an interviewer: “My husband did not wrap up the nomination in 1992 until he won the California primary somewhere in the middle of June, right? We all remember Bobby Kennedy was assassinated in June in California.”

Image by Donald Trump August 19, 2015 (cropped).jpg: BU Rob13 Hillary Clinton by Gage Skidmore 2.jpg: Gage [GFDL  or CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons.

That she would use the word “assassinated” in the context in which she delivered it remains an amazing bit of political history. We bring it up because it has largely been deposited in a memory hole. In 2008, was she suggesting that someone might (or should?) attack candidate Obama? Was she hoping that her use of that word might stimulate some crazy to duplicate what had happened to Senator Kennedy sixteen years earlier? Mere mentioning the possibility of an assassination during a political campaign constitutes a dramatic departure from legitimate political discourse. And the reporters who heard her comment, or heard about it later, should have emblazoned it on the minds of all. But most didn’t.

Hoping that no one remembers her 2008 use of such an inflammatory word, Mrs. Clinton has chosen to imply that Donald Trump’s recent comment about her selection of possible candidates for the Supreme Court invited violence, the very tactic she had employed in 2008.

What did Trump say that Clinton seized upon? He stated during a rally: “If she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do, folks. Although the Second Amendment people, maybe there is. I don’t know.” Asked later what he meant, Trump explained, “The media is desperate to distract [voters] from Clinton’s Second Amendment stance. I said that pro-Second Amendment citizens must organize and get out the vote to save our Constitution.”

But Mrs. Clinton speedily accused Trump of what she should have been accused of in 2008. She pontificated, “Words matter, my friends. And if you are running to be president, or you are president of the United States, words can have tremendous consequences.” Correct! Which is precisely why the media should have excoriated her in 2008, and why her recent attack on Trump for something that had no mention of the kind of possibly deadly suggestion contained in the word “assassinated” is mountainous hypocrisy. In 2008, she not only wasn’t held accountable for possibly inciting a monstrous crime, she repeated her remarks a few weeks later.

Only days after her first use of the word “assassinated,” Richard Stengel, the managing editor of TIME, interviewed Hillary. Having had no repercussions from her first use of the explosive word, she repeated it: “I think people have short memories. Primary contests used to last a lot longer. We all remember the great tragedy of Bobby Kennedy being assassinated in June in Los Angeles.” Was that another attempt to plant the idea of assassination in the minds of some potential killer? It certainly seems so. Did the main stream media hold her accountable? With rare exceptions, its supposedly hard-nosed reporters and commentators ignored her second outrageous use of the term.

All during their rise to prominence, the two Clintons have benefited from a standard that few have ever enjoyed. Others have to submit to strict rules and temperate conduct while Hillary and Bill are given a pass. Hillary obviously knows that explosive words can lead to explosive actions, which is why she attacked Trump’s statement. If she were held to the standard she has set for Donald Trump, she would long ago have become a political has-been.

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McManus_2Mr. McManus served in the U.S. Marine Corps in the late 1950s and joined the staff of The John Birch Society in August 1966. He has served various roles for the organization including Field Coordinator, Director of Public Affairs, and President. Mr. McManus has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs and is also author of a number of educational DVDs and books. Now President Emeritus, he continues his involvement with the Society through public speaking and writing for this blog, the JBS Bulletin, and The New American.


Who Are Trump Supporters?

Who Are Trump Supporters?
by JBS President Emeritus John F. McManus

New Yorker Magazine is hardly a bastion of right-wing politics. Instead, it can usually be found promoting causes championed by liberals, left-wingers, and elitists. Its veteran political writer went to several Trump rallies to find out for himself what motivates anyone to support the New York City mogul.

Image by Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ, United States of America (Donald Trump supporters) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons)

Before reading the New Yorker article, I received a report claiming that it provided more than two dozen reasons why some people like Donald Trump and want him for president. But then I read the article and found it to be anything but a pro-Trump piece. It does mention a few reasons why some Americans stand firmly in the Trump camp. But a politically on-the-fence American who reads it would likely be driven away from supporting Trump. He might end up voting for Trump’s opponent or decide not to vote at all.

The report I received – not the article itself– stated that Trump supporters “have had it with” an array of anti-Establishment politicians and policies. There’s nothing sensationally new about that. Its list of reasons is impressive, and they smack of accuracy. It says “Trumpies” are rebelling against anyone named Bush or Clinton, and against political correctness, illegal immigration, welfare waste and fraud, ObamaCare, Federal Reserve money-printing schemes, Barack Obama’s golf, Holiday – not Christmas – trees, global warming nonsense, gun confiscation threats, cop killers, stagnant wages, boys in the girls bathrooms, and more. My own survey assures me that all of that is a correct reading of any Trump supporter.

However, George Saunders who wrote the lengthy piece in New Yorker can hardly be described as an admirer of either Trump or the many Trump supporters he encountered and interviewed as he traveled across the country. On the other hand, the writer of the report (no name was provided) went far overboard in attributing any sort of pro-Trumpism to what Saunders provided.

With more than two months still remaining before Americans vote for the next president, plenty can happen to sway the yet undecided, maybe even move some from one camp to the other. We hope all will base their decision on facts, not on hit pieces or wild characterizations of any candidate.

The two articles mentioned above did agree in one main point. It is that most Americans are tired of promises not being kept by Democrats or Republicans, of changes in the nation’s culture and moral standards, of being given half-truths and lies when honesty remains the best policy, and of sensing that the country is being changed – not for the better but for the betterment of an arrogant well-entrenched few.

But another lesson reinforced from reading the magazine article and the ensuing report convinces me that checking the original is far and away the wiser course. Relying on someone’s view of something may take you far from what it really said.

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McManus_2Mr. McManus served in the U.S. Marine Corps in the late 1950s and joined the staff of The John Birch Society in August 1966. He has served various roles for the organization including Field Coordinator, Director of Public Affairs, and President. Mr. McManus has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs and is also author of a number of educational DVDs and books. Now President Emeritus, he continues his involvement with the Society through public speaking and writing for this blog, the JBS Bulletin, and The New American.